Named Clothing Alexandria Peg Trousers – Calling It Quites

Last month I made a toile for the Alexandria Peg Trouser.  The pattern was in a post on Pattern Review, highlighted as one of the top trouser patterns for 2017.  It appealed to me for the couple of reasons.  Firstly, the lack a fabric flopping around the calves.  I’m a pear shape, and most style guru’s will recommend a boot cut to ‘even out my hips’ and give the appearance of height.  Have you ever been caught out wearing a boot-cut trouser on a wet day.  They are dirt and water collectors, and are terrifically uncomfortable once damp.  Secondly, I love the look of this relaxed peg style on other people.  Comfortable, casual and sporty.  I’ve tried quite a few ready to wear trousers in similar styles, without success – mainly because there’s either too much or too little fabric in all the wrong places.  Finally, it just irritates me that my style choices are supposed to be driven from a desire to look taller and thinner.

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So I duly made up a toil using an old brushed cotton duvet cover.  The fit was okay, and they were beautifully comfortable.  The most obvious fit problem was the wrinkling down the back of the legs.  This is caused by an excess of fabric over the bottom, so I installed a couple of horizontal darts across the bottom to smooth it out. (Sorry about the truly rotten photo’s here.  It’s been raining for the last few days, and my usual light source is out of commission.)

Having lounged about the house in my toile, I’ve decided not to precede.  Comfy as they are, these trousers are not for me.  They just don’t fit in with my tidy casual sort of style.  I’d feel like I was going out of the house in my pyjamas.  Having made the toile I realised that I don’t actually own any trousers with an elasticated waist.  There is nothing wrong with the pattern. The trousers just aren’t my style.  I’m moving on.

2018 10 12 louleigh knitting and sewing podcast

We are chatting about #knit1000g2018 in the Ravelry group.  Please come and join us.

This week  I’m sharing progress on the Jones cardigan, road testing some fabric woven on my rigid heddle loom, and explaining my decision not to continue with the Alexandria Peg Trousers.

Yarn Review: Whistbare, Cheviot Blue 4 ply

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A few weeks ago I purchased a sweater quantity of Whistlebare Cheviot Blue 4 ply to make a cardigan.  I duly swatched, and then promptly put to whole project on hold because the colour wasn’t quite what I’d had in mind.  Having knitted with the yarn a little, I thought it was worth reviewing here.  You can find Whistlebare at a lot of shows in the north of England, so I’ve had plenty of opportunities to squish their yarn in person.  If you live further afield, or just can’t make it to shows, you might be trying it out unsquished.  And, in that case, it’s always useful to be able to find out more about yarn performance before you part with your pennies.

Yarn weight 4 ply / fingering; Skein weight 100 g; Fibre content 60% Whistlebare’s Cheviot 1st Shearing / 40% locally reared Blue Faced Leicester; Length 350 m; Recommended tension 32 stitches x 36 rows over 10 cm; Recommended needle 3 mm needles; No. of plys 2;  Reared in Northumberland, Spun in Yorkshire, UK.

Opening my parcel from Whistlebare was pure joy!  The yarn feels elastic and lofty, and has a little hailo.  It smelt very slightly of spinning oil when I shoved my nose right in to it, but not so you notice while knitting.  This is a smell that doesn’t bother me.  It reminds me of the industrial process that natural materials have to go through in order to become consumer products.  And it washes out.  Cheviot Blue, in the hank, is not the softest yarn.  It feels crisp, with a mild prickle.  It’s also the sort of yarn that wants to cling to itself like Velcro.

My intention had been to knit the Kara Cardigan by Cecily Glowik MacDonald.  This cardi has a beautiful all over lace pattern, that is simple to memorise and knit.  That is the pattern you’re seeing here in my swatches.  In the first swatch I used the 4 mm needle recommended by the pattern.  The resulting fabric was very open, and had plenty of drape; however it was too loose for my liking.  I loved the second swatch knitted on a 3.25 mm needle.  The stitch pattern was still beautifully visible, the fabric still had a little drape, but it was much more stable. The yarn is a pleasure to knit with, and felt fine running through my hands

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I didn’t measure my gauge before and after washing this time.  Lace is always so scrunched up when it comes off the needles that it hardly seemed worth it.  After washing the gauge over 10 cm of the stitch pattern was 24.5 stitches on 4 mm needles and 26.5 Stitches on 3.25 mm needles.

In the first wear test, I started by tucking the swatch in to the band of my trousers, and moved it my armpit on day two.  It was itchy.  Not so that I was conscious of the it all the time, like a dry skin itch that you want to apply moisturiser to later.

The yarn does soften over time.  I’ve washed it three times now, with no discernible change in gauge.  There is still an itchiness when I wear it next to sensitive skin, however it has more drape in the hand.  The stitch pattern flattened out with wear, then sprang back on washing.  This wouldn’t be my first choice for texture, however this might just be because of the 2 ply yarn structure.

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And finally!  My little Cheviot Blue swatch has been riding round in my armpit for two weeks now, and not a single pill!  The fibre stays in the yarn, which makes me think it will wear magnificently.

I’ve since dyed the beautiful hanks of yarn I bought, and have my eye on a design for a lightweight jersey… eventually.  I’m in the midst of a WIP down.  For now I’m enjoying this little heap on the shelf by my desk.

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2018 10 05 louleigh knitting podcast – most used shawls

If you’ve joined the Advent Mini Skein Swap, pop over to the Ravelry group to find out who your quarter 4 buddy is.  I’ve finally finished my first 73 g towards #knit1000g.  How are you getting along with your challenge?

This week I’ve finished my Birthday Socks, and picked up Cyril Socks and Tiny Owl Mittens.

Today I share my most used shawls: Reclamation, Succulent, and Edwina.

And there’s a wee bit of film from Masham Sheep Fair at the very end.

2018 09 28 louleigh knitting podcast

This week I totally had chocolate on my face!  Oh well, the biscuit tasted great.

If you visit the Louleigh Community, you’ll find that the Advent Mini Skein Swap is coming to an end, and that #knit1000g2018 is in full swing.

I’ve been knitting Birthday socks, Ultra-light Ankle Socks, and the Jones cardigan.

The First Post

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Today I’ve decided to reignite my blogging life!  Writing is something I really enjoy, but it’s not easy.  I am dyslexic, and while the words might flow from my head in a steady stream, when I read them back they are often jumbled and riddled with mistakes.  Comments like ‘You should have proof-read this’ were common in my academic life, even though I re-read everything I write at least three times.  Those mistakes have been a source of embarrassment and shame.

Today I’m giving myself permission not to care.  I’ll still proof read everything, and hope that the odd mistake won’t distract to much from your pleasure in reading.

It’s brilliant to be back and sharing my life in making with you.  Thank you so much for being here.

2018 09 14 louleigh knitting podcast

 

The Louleigh community is chatting about the Advent Mini Skein Swap, and #knit1000g2018.

I’ve cast on Jones; and am working on Ultra-light Ankle socks, and the Alexandria  Peg Trousers.

Do you have any special tips for working with combinations or recycled and new yarn?

2018 09 07 louleigh knitting podcast – #knit1000g2018

The Louleigh Community has started chatting about #knit1000g2018.  If you want to revel in knitting beautiful stash yarn, come and join us.  Don’t forget to sign up for the last quarter of the Advent Mini Skein Swap.

I’ve herded together Bovertun, Sizzle Pop, and The Doodler for my #knit1000g2018 projects.  This week I’ll be unravelling my Quill shawl, and the Before Dark cardigan.  And work has begun on the Alexandria Peg Trousers.

2018 08 27 Louleigh’s Makers Podcast – Ultra-Light Ankle Socks Giveaway

The Stash Depreciating Shawl Along is coming to and end this week in the Louleigh Community.

This week I’ve launched the Ultra-Light Ankle Socks pattern.  Enter the prize draw by joining my mailing list.

I’ve been working on the Sizzle Pop Shawl, Sugar Loaf Socks, and a second Farrow Dress.